This week is all about how we keep secrets because we want to protect people - but we can end up hurting ourselves. And sometimes other people end up getting hurt too.
But first, back to what Justin et al could have done to rewind the tape for Jessica.
Last week was heavy, as we saw the sickening result of the school’s culture of guys objectifying girls (you know – treating them as just sexy bodies – as opposed to, you know. HUMANS). Bryce thinks it’s NBD just to rape a passed out Jessica.
When guys (and girls!) say that you’re “making a big deal” when you get upset or pissed about comments on your body or being grabbed
THIS is why it’s a big deal. It lets guys like Justin and Bryce think it’s AOK to hurt us. Well we say a big F to that. Let’s have each other’s back and not buy into that.
We had some great responses to our questions.
Why did Bryce think it was OK to “share” Jessica? This all goes back to the big lie that boys “can’t help themselves” and we should all just expect them to “take advantage of” (rape) girls who are vulnerable.
This is soooo messed up, but it’s all part our bigger cultural problem of women and girls being seen as “sex objects”- that we need to look sexy to men and boys always. That’s why women are used as props to sell cheeseburgers or cars and the bajillion ads we see every day. The message is that women are here for men’s pleasure. NOT OK.
What should poor widdle Justin have done? Justin should have tried harder - in fact we would say Justin didn’t try at all. Justin could have made a big fuss and brought what Bryce was doing to the attention of the entire party. He should have busted through the wall and shamed the shit out of sneaky sad Bryce having sex with a drunk, passed out Jessica.
Justin should have been HONEST about what happened, and helped Jessica face it, and all the crap that comes with it, head on instead of pretending and pretending that everything is OK. Sorry everybody THIS NEVER WORKS.
Why does everyone pretend everything is OK to lie to their parents? Is there anything more awkward than talking to your parents about alcohol, drugs, and sex? Probs not!
And it's totally normal to want to protect yourself from getting in trouble or disappointing them. But, most of the time, your parents want to help you, especially if things are REALLY BAD.
Sure you might get in a little trouble.
But do you think Hannah’s parents would have given two shits about her drinking if they thought they could HELP SAVE HER LIFE?
You are a teenager and you’re still figuring these things out – you are going to make mistakes. Sometimes it’s better to call in the reinforcements for help. Trust us, being honest and “in trouble” feels a LOT better than having a big scary secret.
WHICH BRINGS US TO. Episode 10. Sheri.
Secrets are toxic
Fiiiinally we find out why Sheri has been freaking out about Clay listening to her tape. And why Jeff, the matchmaking jock of our hearts, isn’t around.
When Sheri's driving Hannah home from a party, she flattens a stop sign when she's trying to find her charger - and runs away so she doesn't get in trouble with her parents. With tragic consequences, since fellow party goer Jeff runs straight through the intersection – and into oncoming traffic. AHHHHHH SO SAAAAAD.
Sheri feels terrible, obviously, and does everything in her power to “make up” for it by volunteering with one of the victims afterwards and being his “angel”. Sheri wasn’t even drunk when she crashed into the stop sign.
How much trouble do you think she would have been in if she had called her parents immediately and confessed to what had happened?
Now Sheri is doing everything she can to undo the accident - but she can’t. It’s pretty clear that keeping her big secret is just going to eat her up inside – look how panicked and sad she is around Clay.
It’ll be something she carried around for the rest of her life unless she can confide in someone. And poor Jeff's family don't find out that he wasn't drunk until Clay tells them.
Secrets isolate us from the people we love. They make us feel like we’re all alone and bad. Feeling like that what can be so devastating to our emotional, mental and even physical health.
It’s Hannah’s isolation that contributes significantly to her suicide. We don’t want that for Sheri.
If Sheri came forward and told what had really happened , yeh she would have faced some anger and outrage - but she also would have had the opportunity to get help and understand that she crashed because she was helping a friend out. Then she panicked - which is pretty normal.
Sheri made a mistake, and she is NOT alone. She wouldn’t feel like she had to walk around pretending to EVERYONE for the rest of her life, doing everything she can to make up for it forever. That hurts to even think about, right?
And here’s poor old Hannah carrying two secrets from one night that she doesn’t know what to do with. She feels alone and awful It’s not a spoiler alert that this doesn’t end well :/
How could we rewind the tape?
Let's not pretend that Sheri could miraculously prevent the accident - sometimes horrible things happen because we do something dumb. We need to trust others enough to tell them - and if they tell us, they need to know we have their backs.
What could you say to Sheri if she told you what happened?
What could you say to Hannah?
This is part of a series to help us see what we can do to help give the Hannah Bakers of the world a different ending x.
Here are alllll the links here: